Children who are excluded from school are often lost from the
education system, according to a report from Ofsted.
A survey of the educational support for pupils not in school
found that “too many” children and young people risk
being lost, often as a result of poor systems for monitoring their
While some schools and local education authorities were found to
be “relentlessly focused” on keeping track of
vulnerable pupils others were content with “minimal oversight
which ceases once the pupils have moved beyond immediate
The Department for Education and Skills estimates that more than
9,000 pupils are permanently excluded from school each year, with
up to 10,000 pupils missing from school completely.
However, the survey revealed some pockets of good practice and
the young people attending some of the alternative centres of
education were positive about the academic, social and emotional
support they received.
The report recommends that LEAs keep an up to date database of
all pupils who are educated other than at school and that the
reasons behind poor behaviour and exclusions are analysed. It also
suggests that individual learning, behaviour and attendance targets
should be agreed with young people.
Schools minister Stephen Twigg said that a range of measures had
resulted in a 25 per cent drop in exclusions since 1997. However he
said that the challenge now was to help LEAs improve the quality of
provision for excluded pupils and identify children who may be
missing from school rolls.
“We will achieve this through a sustained strategy of
prevention, quality assurance and tracking,” he said.
This strategy includes a register of children in each area and
government investment in Skill Force, a scheme run by
ex-servicemen and women to tackle behaviour problems and provide